India’s top official for the G20 summit says they are close to reaching an agreement on a final communique, despite disagreements and Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s absence. India’s goal is to bring all G20 parties to a consensus on a leaders’ declaration, including addressing the Russia-Ukraine war, which has been opposed by Russia and China. As the G20 chair, India will host the summit in New Delhi from September 9-10, with the aim of raising India’s international profile and focusing on the needs of developing countries. However, India’s diplomats have struggled to secure consensus on various issues, including finance and climate change. Xi’s decision not to attend the summit and Russia’s Vladimir Putin also not attending have further undermined India’s G20 presidency. Despite tensions between India and China, India believes China understands its multilateral responsibilities. India is determined to achieve consensus on all issues and wants the G20 to be united. Some western delegations have a gloomier outlook, predicting that no joint statement will be reached due to divisions over Ukraine. India’s population has surpassed China’s, and the summit comes at a time when leading economies are grappling with the impact of the Ukraine war. Modi is pressing for the African Union to become a full G20 member and advocating for the reform of multilateral financial institutions. India sees the G20 as a platform to showcase the needs of the developing world. The summit also aims to be a foreign policy success for Modi ahead of the 2024 national election.
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